10/10/2007 11:00PM

Attfield's trio are all outsiders

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Roger Attfield entered three runners in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Durham Cup at Woodbine - Palladio, Eccentric, and The Carbon Unit. They are in different stages of their form cycles, and the logical winner of the 1 1/8-mile stakes might be one of the other five entrants.

The card also includes the $125,000 Bull Page Stakes, a six-furlong race restricted to Ontario-sired colts and geldings.

The 5-year-old Palladio competed in the United Stakes last winter and spring, and he peaked in his decisive victory in the Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes here in May. He is coming off a nonthreatening sixth in the Massachusetts Handicap on the dirt at Suffolk Downs.

Attfield said slow fractions hindered Palladio's chances last time.

"There wasn't any pace early at all," Attfield recalled. "When he started running, they all started running. It wasn't as bad a race as it looks on paper. He's doing good. Maybe we'll get a legitimate race out of him this time."

The versatile Eccentric has been idle since capturing his second straight turf stakes here July 2 in the Grade 3 King Edward Breeders' Cup, in which he upset Grade 1 winners Jambalaya and Sky Conqueror.

Attfield said Eccentric's layoff wasn't by design.

"He had a blind splint, which was bothering him a little," Attfield said. "We were messing around with him, trying to get him back on track. It's a shame that it happened, because he was right on top of his game."

Attfield said he's using Saturday's race as a tune-up for the Grade 3 Fayette on Oct. 27 at Keeneland, a Polytrack stakes that Eccentric won last year.

"I still think he's better on the turf, but he's also very effective on the Polytrack," Attfield said.

The Carbon Unit has had poor form this year while running strictly on the grass.

"He's never raced on the Polytrack, but he's been working very well on it," said Attfield. "It's just an experiment with him."

Arch Hall ran a corker in his second start of the year, a tough classified allowance Sept. 1, closing from far back to win by a head with an 86 Beyer Speed Figure.

"I was surprised the race didn't get a higher Beyer number," said trainer Mark Casse. "Artie Hot came out of it to win the Ontario Derby, after getting beat five lengths."

Leonnatus Anteas, last year's champion 2-year-old, wound up fourth behind some formidable opposition when he shipped to Louisiana Downs on Sept. 22 for the Grade 2 Super Derby.

In a field devoid of speed, Leonnatus Anteas should be forwardly placed.